Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: La Crosse, Wisconsin
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I have a home-built 12V light on my hybrid I use for fitness riding. Landscape light housing, 20W MR11 halogen spot, Radio Shack switch and a 12V sealed lead-acid battery I have mounted inside a trunk bag. Battery is from zbattery.com.
Works great for my use. When I'm using it, I can't even tell whether my Cateye HL-EL530 (supposedly > 1500 candlepower) is on or not.
Only problem will be if you want to use your bike for extended night sessions. My lighting system works great for me, because I only use it for my morning exercise runs, which are about 30 minutes. I've never run the battery down, but I'm guessing it might last an hour. Again, that's more than I need, but if you're planning on using your light for a few hours, you might need to use a different strategy.
Of course, battery life is a function of capacity and load. Reducing the light wattage and/or increasing battery capacity will extend run time. I chose an SLA battery because the battery and the charger were inexpensive. My goal was to get the most light I could for 30 minutes while minimizing cost.
But as slowandsteady pointed out, if you're planning on touring with this setup, a dyno hub probably makes more sense.
Lastly, you may wish to take a look at the lighting sticky thread in the Commuting forum.
Last edited by waffenschmidt; 10-20-06 at 11:47 PM.